Chicago leaders concerned about minorities being under-counted in 2020 Census

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Community leaders are calling for efforts to ensure that minority groups are counted in the 2020 Census.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, of the Rainbow Push Coalition, Congressman Danny Davis (D-Chicago), and other elected officials, clergy and community activists held a press conference to discuss the issue.

The fear is that underreporting could mean less federal funds for schools, housing and other entitlements, and ensure that African Americans count, they said.

"It's important because Illinois lost one congressional seat after the 2010 census," said Cook County Commissioner Stanley Moore (D-4th district).

Members of the coalition expressed their concerns about Census funding

The Trump administration has allocated $30 billion to complete the 2020 Census. However, for the first time, the count will rely heavily on the Internet for Census returns which leaders said could negatively impact people of color who don't have internet or computer access.

State Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, said he wants the incarcerated to no longer be counted at the prison where there're housed, instead to be counted at their last known address.

The state of Illinois has allocated $1.5 million for the Census. The federal government has allocated $2.5 million earmarked for immigrants in Illinois.

Coalition members plan to visit Springfield next month to fight for a fair share of Census funding needed to accurately count African Americans.

Census officials estimate that only 55 percent of Americans will actually fill out the Census form -- that's down from 63 percent in 2010.
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